Monthly Archives: March 2012

How Do You Say ‘World Peace’ in Farsi?

I remember when Jessica told our grade 8 class

that her last class had done research and concluded

that world peace was not possible

until we all spoke one language.

I knew Jessica was smart and had gone to a smart school

so she must be right

because I’m twelve, what do I know about world peace?

It has taken me twenty-five years to finally see

that the language isn’t Esperanto

but love

or

armas in Esperanto.

I Want To Want Less

At my best I am happy to be here

at my worst I expect more

I am usually at my worst

though I think I am at my best

till I see

what I thought I saw

from a distance

and see saw that I am blind

like the worm doesn’t like it when you take him from his shit pile and put him on a beach

I like my beach

I like my life

though I think I’d like heaven more

still, let me know of any tsunami warnings

I wanna clean things up a bit before it hits home.

Is the Glass Half Empty or am I?

Ever seen a map of the world on the other side of the world?

We’re so used to seeing our continent dead left or dead center.

Fly to China

and suddenly

North America

is pushed all the way

to the right corner

like it’s wearing the dunce cap

cause China is the center of the earth

it’s disorienting to see

the world through

Asian eyes

you look at the map and think it’s broken

“What’s North America doing all the way over on the right side of the map?

Get it over in the middle where it belongs!”

History is even more relative.

It’s written by the fathers of your country

ask a Brazilian who came up with the airplane

the Wright brothers is the wrong answer.

History is relative

Geography is relative

hell, even Math is relative since the Theory of Relativity

is there nothing Absolutely True?

God

sure

but from which text book?

In The Valley of Voodoo Dolls

“Tell us, Ooga, what does the boar’s liver say?”

Ooga, the tribe’s voodoo man poked through the boar’s liver with his finger and saw nothing unusual, nothing to even hint at the future. He knew his job, even his life was in jeopardy if he got one more prediction wrong.

Ooga had literally fallen backasswards into his job as voodoo man, when, after one sip too many of the wagawaga juice, Ooga had tripped, fallen backwards on to the old voodoo man, his predecessor, a very old, Bukug, who had died right under him. The tribe’s elders, determined that Bukug’s soul must have passed into Ooga, and they made him their new voodoo man.

Ooga had started well. Though he had no formal training in voodoo or reading animal entrails, he figured he would go with his gut and feel his way through his predictions and readings of omens. The wise village elders had declared him voodoo man, there must be voodoo inside him, Ooga reasoned.

His first reading of a lemur’s pancreas had been a great hit. Ooga had fondled the pancreas for a good five minutes before announcing that the rains would be especially bad this year and early.

And the rains were especially bad that year and early and thanks to Ooga’s accurate reading, the village had prepared for the rain’s early arrival by harvesting earlier.

After that, Ooga had gone on a hot streak, correctly predicting the bird poop that landed on Kleelee’s head meant that she was going to be the next in the tribe to get pregnant; and the flight of 3 ducks signaled tragedy was coming to the village. Sure enough, three days later, three men were run over by a bloat of hippotamuses.

But Ooga’s luck started to run out after the lightening bolt struck the center of the village, burning half the village down. Ooga had predicted mere minutes after the lightening strike that the lightening bolt would do great damage, but the tribesmen thought that the prediction was too little too late. In fact some in the tribe started whispering that perhaps Ooga was bad at voodoo because they had never seen him so much as put one pin into one voodoo doll, and a true voodoo man would have seen tragedy at the size of a lightening bolt coming.

A week after that, village warriors captured alive a warrior from an enemy tribe. They brought him back to the village to have Ooga perform some voodoo on him to get him to give up some secrets. Ooga got a voodoo doll and a pin and preceded to poke at the doll in front of the captured warrior, who complained of feeling a bit queasy. He then had the man drink a truth serum, which did nothing except get the captured warrior to ask for a second truth serum, for the first had been delicious.

Now the tribe needed to relocate cause the enemy warrior had escaped, and the tribe knew it was a matter of time before he returned with his whole army. Before leaving, they had sacrificed a boar and asked Ooga to look into its liver and tell them which direction to start.

“Well? What does the boar’s liver say?” asked, Zoogoo, the tribe’s chief.

Ooga took a deep breath, closed his eyes thinking he had a one in four chance of being right, swallowed and said: “West.”

“Then we will go East,” declared Zoogoo, leading his tribe right into an ambush. As Zoogoo was being stuck in the boiling cauldron, he wasn’t sure what was worse, the dying or the being told, ‘I told you so,’ by the village idiot.

Weeping for Dinosaurs

Still, who weeps for the dinosaurs?

It’s a good thing they died

if they were here, they’d eat us alive every time we stepped outside.

They exact their Montezuma’s revenge

as the gas belching out our gas pipes

we’re powered by the same thing that kills us

I’m just saying, I’m not complaining

I’d be a fool to complain

worse, a hypocrite

cause at least the fool is innocent he is a fool

the hypocrite is devious.

I’ll start complaining the day I stop taking the bus

and start walking to work.

It’d take one day to save the world, tops.

I better leave now.

Mechanical Dummy

On.

Back on.

Switch back on.

I got switched back on

thought the mechanical dummy

it’s nice to be played with

even if the kid does like to

throw me face first at the wall

really hard

better to feel something than nothing at all

thought the mechanical dummy

as he hurtled through the air

his nose having a hot date with the wall.

Haiku 6 Pack

This beauty of youth

like the first breath of sunrise

is burnt by high noon.

****

Science gave us bombs

it also gave us aspirin

this toxic tonic.

****

These last swirls of light

afraid to give in to night

cling to the west wind.

****

This drunken midnight

where the shadow takes control

leading me back home.

****

This flicker of flame

shivers in the night’s back draft

as she shuts the door.

****

This time narcotic

speeds right through the veins of youth

while it stones the old.

****

Scratching at the Sky

It’s hard to take she and me seriously cause she and me have died

dead words on paper that were once trees

bind what we left behind.

Why is it so hard to be happy to be satisfied

the leaves will be green I will breathe even after we’ve died.

It’s hard to take history seriously

cause history has died

dead men on the skin of cut down trees

history happens all the time.

I’m not afraid to die I’m afraid of what I’ll leave behind

and if there’s a paradise in the sky

that’s waiting for me when I die

this paradise in the sky over me

needs to be lower so I can reach.

Throwing Curveballs at Life

My catcher Scott made me a better pitcher.

I was seventeen, I’d been pitching for seven years

I thought I knew what I was doing on the mound

I called every pitch

all my catchers till Scott took their signs from me

then in my first inning with Scott, new league, better, stronger batters

Scott calls for a curveball

my curveball is my worst pitch

I throw it once or twice a game just to keep the batters guessing

but I don’t trust it with runners in scoring position

still, Scott calls for the curveball

I shake him off

Scott again calls for the curve

I again shake him off

fastball, I’m all revved up for the fastball

but Scott doesn’t give up and again flashes two fingers the universal sign of the curveball

I’m starting to think that Scott’s an idiot, cause this is the third time I’ve shaken off the same sign

fastball I’m thinking

and fastball Scott finally flashes, though he gave me the sign using his middle finger

I nod and get into the set position, pitching from the stretch

checking my runners on second and third

then I rear back and throw my best mid-seventies fastball down and away

but the batter reaches down and gets it and slams it deep deep right field

scorching the line and mercifully tailing right and foul instead of left and three run homer.

Scott throws his mask in the dirt and charges the mound

I have been charged a couple times before by batters

but this was the first time my own catcher charged at me

“This guy can hit any fastball for breakfast, but he can’t hit a curve to save his life. Now you throw me a curveball and never shake me off again or I’ll fucking kill you!” Scott spat, slamming a fresh baseball in my glove and stormed off the mound.

You better believe I came back with my weak ass curveball

and wouldn’t you know it

the batter whiffed at it.

Strike two.

Scott flashes another deuce

curveball

there’s Scott going to the well one more time calling curveball

and my curveball never struck anyone out in Tyke

yet, the batter swats at it like it’s a feather in a hurricane

strike three

and that’s when I learned to stop thinking and pitch

after that, whatever Scott flashed was the right pitch

and I stopped thinking and started pitching

cause that’s the crazy thing about life

you are out of rhythm when you are thinking about the action.

The Last Thought of Socrates

You’re something I’d swear to after a few beers

and swear at after a few more.

Like life itself

I’m somewhere in between the sip and the swallow

and you’re seconds on the tongue and years on the hips at best of times

and at your worst

you’re an aftertaste

the bile of broken dreams

bitter like hemlock

and when the Devil’s Porridge crept up the spine of Socrates

he remembered he had a debt to pay

of all the insight and profound thought

in the end

Socrates remembered he owed a man a chicken.

“Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepius. Pay it and do not neglect it”

“That,” said Crito, “shall be done; but, see if you have anything else to say.”

To this question he made no reply

cause, in the end, what mattered most was checking out with all debts paid up.